On leave 2022-2023
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Ann Blair is Carl H. Pforzheimer University Professor at Harvard University. She specializes in the cultural and intellectual history of early modern Europe (16th-17th centuries), with an emphasis on France. Her interests include the history of the book and of reading, the history of the disciplines and of scholarship, and the history of interactions between science and religion.
Her publications include The Theater of Nature: Jean Bodin and Renaissance Science (Princeton UP, 1997), Too Much To Know: managing scholarly information before the modern age (Yale UP, 2010), and L’Entour du texte: la publication du livre savant à la Renaissance (2021). She has co-edited, with Jennifer Milligan, Toward a Cultural History of Archives, a special issue of Archival Science (2007); with Richard Yeo, Note-Taking in Early Modern Europe, a special issue of Intellectual History Review (2010); with Kaspar von Greyerz, Physico-theology: Religion and science in Europe 1650-1750 (2020); with Nicholas Popper, New Horizons for Early Modern European Scholarship (2021); with Paul Duguid, Anja-Silvia Goeing, and Anthony Grafton, Information: A Historical Companion (2021). Blair's research focuses on methods of intellectual work among scholars and authors ca. 1500-1700 which she also compares with those of other times and places. She has studied for example methods of reading and note-taking as taught in humanist schools, and practices of composing and using reference works and finding devices. In March 2014 Blair delivered the Rosenbach Lectures in Bibliography at the University of Pennsylvania on the role of amanuenses in early modern Europe. In December 2019 she delivered the Panizzi Lectures at the British Library on “Paratexts and Print in Renaissance Humanism.”
She is grateful to have received fellowships and awards from many sources including the National Endowment for the Humanities, the MacArthur Foundation, the Mellon Foundation, the Guggenheim Foundation, and the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study. Her teaching and advising has been recognized by a Harvard College Professorship (2009), an Everett Mendelsohn Excellence in Graduate Mentoring Award (2014), a Phi Beta Kappa Prize for Excellence in Teaching (2018), and a Star Family Prize for Excellence in Advising (2018).
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